News Roundup for August 13, 2019

August 13, 2019

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J Street in the News

Jews protest US immigration policy with Tisha B’Av demonstrations, Times of Israel
“T’ruah worked in conjunction with Bend the Arc, J Street, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), the National Council of Jewish Women, Torah Trumps Hate and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism to mobilize thousands across the country.”

Thousands of Jews protest ICE raids across U.S., 36 arrested in NYC, +972 Mag
“This time, Never Again Action were also joined by establishment American Jewish groups such as the Reform Movement’s Religious Action Center and the liberal, pro-Israel lobby J Street. Participants included not only experienced left-wing Jewish activists but also mainstream Jewish community leaders and politicians — a sign that the segment of the American Jewish community that feels compelled to protest the U.S. immigration regime is continuing to widen. The protesters also appeared to span divides of denomination — Reform, Conservative, Orthodox — as well as generation.”

Top News and Analysis

Abbas aide fumes as Netanyahu eyes Israeli sovereignty over settlements, Times of Israel
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman on Monday said any move that undermines “Palestinian rights” is “unjust and illegitimate,” following a report that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was seeking a public declaration from US President Donald Trump backing an Israeli move to extend sovereignty over Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Israel Now a Key Battleground in the Global Clash of Liberal Democracy and Its Enemies, Haaretz
Nimrod Goren and Gil Murciano write, “Netanyahu is calling in unprecedented re-election favors (read: interventions) from his illiberal brothers – Trump, Putin, Modi, Bolsonaro and Orban. The gloves are coming off in the conflict between liberals and illiberals in Israel – and around the world.”

Right-wing MKs to congresspeople: 2-state solution ‘far more dangerous’ than BDS, Times of Israel
A group of right-wing lawmakers, including two deputy ministers, sent a letter on Monday to four US lawmakers warning that calls for a two-state solution are “far more dangerous to Israel” than efforts to boycott the Jewish state and urging them to refrain from such appeals in the future.


Most right-wing Israeli voters want Netanyahu to remain prime minister even if he’s indicted, JTA
More than half of right-wing voters believe that Benjamin Netanyahu should continue as Prime Minister even if indicted, according to a new poll released by the Israel Democracy Institute on Monday.

Pompeo warns international arms embargo on Iran soon to expire, Times of Israel
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday urged to international community to step up pressure on Iran, warning that time was running out before a UN arms embargo on Tehran expires. “We urge our allies and partners to increase the pressure on the Iranian regime until it stops its destabilizing behavior,” Pompeo wrote in a Twitter post featuring a clock counting down to zero.

Las Vegas man planned to bomb local synagogue, federal authorities charge, JTA
A man from Las Vegas, Nevada who works as a security guard was arrested and charged with plans to bomb a local synagogue or a bar that caters to the LBGTQ community.

Fewer Experts, More Likud Backers: Netanyahu’s Watchdog Reshuffles Government Oversight Panel, Haaretz
After the entire committee resigned in protest of the Israeli State Comptroller’s ‘interference’ over the prime minister’s legal funds, Comptroller Matanyahu Englman nominated eight new members.

Smotrich apologizes, says attack on Netanyahu came from ‘deep sorrow’, Times of Israel
“Things were said in a way that was not fitting, especially not given the relationship between a prime minister and a minister in his government, and for that I am sorry,” he says.

Gantz: If Netanyahu offered rotation for PM, with me first, I would discuss it, YNet
Opposition leader Benny Gantz says he would be willing to discuss with Benjamin Netanyahu a rotating premiership after the elections next month, if he were the first prime minister.

Gantz Offer to Join Netanyahu Was ‘Sarcastic’, The Jerusalem Post
Gantz’s associates clarified that he was speaking cynically about an extremely hypothetical and unlikely scenario in which Netanyahu agreed to serve for two years as Gantz’s transportation minister.

Joint Left-wing Slate Seeks to Woo Voters With Specter of Gantz Joining Netanyahu’s Government, Haaretz
Israel’s Democratic Union party unveiled a new campaign angle Monday aimed at gaining support at the expense of the other center-left parties, in particular to get back the thousands of voters who abandoned Meretz for Kahol Lavan in the last election.

Opinion and Analysis

A Surrender to a Few Extremists, Haaretz
The Haaretz Editorial Board writes, “Yesterday Tisha B’Av fell on the same day as the Muslim feast of the sacrifice, Eid al-Adha. According to the status quo that has been established over the last few decades, the Temple Mount is closed on Muslim holidays to Jews and other non-Muslims. This is out of respect for the fact that the mount is a central place of worship for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in Jerusalem, and millions in the West Bank and Gaza. And out of concern that allowing Jews to ascend on such days will lead to violence and to a blow to relations with Arab and Muslim countries.”

AIPAC Took 41 Democrats To Israel – And They Applauded Netanyahu, The Forward
Richard M. Goldwasser writes, “But far from providing a worthy rejoinder to Republican attacks, Hoyer’s rote repetition of stale talking points about ‘vibrant democracy’ and ‘unbreakable bonds’ simply leaves the field open to Omar’s and Tlaib’s positions that he rejects. They fail to explain how Hoyer believes that his party should respond to the extreme right-wing drift of the Israeli government under Netanyahu, and how they plan to act to defend the two-state solution, oppose the occupation or prevent the prime minister from annexing Palestinian territory in the West Bank. They fail to demonstrate any concern over the disastrous ideological and political partnership that Netanyahu and the settlement movement have formed with the Trump administration.”

The Only Political Alliance in Israel Still Fighting the Occupation Is 99 Percent Arab – and This Zionist Is Voting for It, Haaretz
Larry Derfner writes, “Israel’s left-wing Zionist politicians won’t challenge the occupation this election: They don’t want to scare away the voters. So I’m voting for a slate that does – despite the militant anti-Israel antagonism of one of its factions.”

How white supremacy went mainstream in the US: 8chan, Trump, voter suppression, The Guardian
Luke Darby writes, “All of these shooters were obsessed with the ‘great replacement’ conspiracy theory, sometimes referred to as ‘white genocide’. It’s the idea that shadowy elites – usually Jewish, almost always liberal – are orchestrating the destruction of white culture through demographic change. The theory goes that white culture will be eroded mainly through migration and birthrates: more people of color are arriving in majority white counties, the ones already there are having more and more babies, and birthrates are declining for the soon-to-be-oppressed white people.”

Trump’s Conspiracy Theories Undermine Democracy and Advance Authoritarian Rule, Haaretz
Chemi Shalev writes, “Among other fantasies, Trump has claimed in the past that global warming is a Chinese hoax, Muslim Americans celebrated 9/11, Barack Obama was born in Kenya, Ted Cruz’s father played a role in the Kennedy assassination, Mexicans are sending rapists and murderers across the border, vaccinations cause autism and more. His latest contribution to the genre came in the form of a retweet/endorsement of the conspiracy theory by which the Clintons engineered the death of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein: It’s a convenient way to deflect attention from the fact that Epstein was under lock and key and that it was Trump and his administration who were charged with his welfare.”